Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Project Life Update

My first few tries with Emma's Project Life book were somewhat frustrating and for some reason I just wasn't happy with how the pages were turning out. I had seen so many awesome designs and layouts online, but just couldn't seem to love the ones I was doing. I realized I was craving more personalization and design elements, so I did some research on how to print on the cards and tried it out. Turns out printing on the cards is super easy with a template! I really don't like my handwriting, so it's nice to mix it up with some printed text too. The designer in me is loving the versatility and options I have now that I can print on the cards!

I went back to the layouts I had already completed and redid a few of the cards:


This is about as far as I am with her book...I have a long ways to go just to catch up, yikes!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Family Pictures in the Park

A few weeks ago we were lucky enough to be the winners of a giveaway for a family photo session by Jill McNamara! We love the parks in our neighborhood, so we decided to take the pictures in the main park by the lake and with the farm silos in the background (a historical feature in our neighborhood). We are so happy with how the pictures turned out and can't wait to design our Christmas cards with one of them and print some to frame in our house! We literally have nothing on the walls, so this will be a great addition and add some much needed color to our living room. (Speaking of our living room, we finally finished sewing the curtains thanks to my mom – they look fabulous!)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Day in Emma's Life

I'm officially in my third week back at work and so far our setup has been working pretty well! Most of the time when people ask what we're doing about child care and I tell them I work from home, they start by saying how nice that is, but then continue on about how difficult it must be to work with her in the house. I guess if I had to watch her and work, yes that would be near impossible (especially since her naps are still so unpredictable!). We feel very blessed to both be home with Emma every day, but it also takes some planning ahead and staying on top of things.

How we work it out is Mike is with her all day on Monday, Wednesday and Friday (unless I'm on deadline, then we shift everything around a bit), those are 'daddy days'. I am with her on Tuesday and Thursday, 'mommy days'. I still work on those days, but take my laptop out into the living room. We really enjoy this setup so far because it allows both of us to get stuff done, but still have that time with her that we enjoy so much.

Here's a look into a typical 'daddy day' for us:

Emma has been sleeping anywhere from 7-9 hours at night! If she gets less than 8 hours, its usually too early to be up for the day and she is still tired, so I feed her and we both go back to sleep for another couple hours. I'll wake up before her, get showered, and head downstairs to eat breakfast and get checked in to work. Usually she's up by that time so I go back up to feed again and get her changed and ready for the day. She is so smiley now and getting her diaper changed is one of her most smiley and favorite times!
See? She loves to smile! She also loves those hands lately and sucks and licks them almost all day.

I go back to work for a few hours and daddy takes Emma through her EASY (eat, activity, sleep, you time) routine. We're pretty lenient with the routine, but try to stick with it to give her some structure and what to expect next. Of course, if she's hungry I feed her and if she's tired we put her down to sleep at any time. During her activity time, we've started trying out tummy time, but she really hates it. :( She really has good neck control already though and practices tummy time when we lay her on our chest.

After about an hour of awake and active time, Emma is pooped out and ready for a nap. We put her down for naps in her crib now, trying to get her used to sleeping in there. She does pretty well in there and usually can calm herself back down when she starts stirring.
After she gets up, I know it's time to feed again. Honestly, this is one of my favorite parts of the day, I just love feeding her and I'm so grateful we are able to do this every day, all day (of course that means she is a bit challenged with taking a bottle, but I'll take that trade-off!).
Emma just loves to hang out with daddy all day and is usually pretty calm and relaxed most of the day. We're so lucky to have such a good baby!
I check out of work anywhere between 4-5pm, depending on how much work I have to get done. I make dinner and we all hang out until daddy leaves for work or until bath time.

We start bath time around 9pm and are in bed by about 10 or 10:30. I learned the hard way that at this age, it's best to put her down for bed at the time I want to go to bed! Her first stretch of sleep is always the longest and I don't want to miss out on any of that good quality sleep time. Her bed time routine includes bath (sometimes just on the counter and getting a good wipe down), coming her hair, lotion and massage time and then its to the changing station for freedom from the diaper time (her favorite!). While she's "free" she's the happiest and we read books to her at the changing station. I've tried showing her books in the chair after her diaper and pajamas are on and she gets fussy and just wants to feed, so this is what seems to work for now. :) After jammies and her puffy nighttime diaper are on, we feed, swaddle and she is down for the night. Rarely does she wake up after this for at least 4-5 hours on a 'bad' night.
The next day is my 'mommy day' so I can sleep until she sleeps and hang out with her all day. I love those days so much and it's really nice to get a bit of a work 'break' every other day.

We love this new way of life for us and feel so blessed to be able to watch our daughter grow and learn every single day!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Emma: Two Months


Date: November 3

Stats: 11 lbs 0 oz, 23 in long – up 4 lbs since birth

Sleep: She was doing so well, sleeping in 5-7 hours streaks (one night was 7.5 hours!) that it seemed too good to be true. She hit a growth spurt at 8 weeks and went back to 3-4 hour streaks. Her naps have dwindled way down during that spurt and she started sleeping for 30-40 minutes at a time instead of a couple 2 hour naps every day. Fortunately she passed that growth spurt and is back to 6-7 hour streaks at night and at least one long nap during the day. Yay!

Feeding: Exclusively breastfed. Has taken the bottle a couple times, but is not great at it unless she is really really hungry. Occasionally uses a pacifier but can't keep it in her mouth on her own. It eases crying when we can't get to feed her immediately though or during her 8 week growth spurt when all she wanted to do was suck (and mommy was back at work).

Clothing size: Fits in all 0-3 month clothing, can even wear some 3-6 month clothes!

Likes: play time right after feeding (she is so happy during this time!), being held facing out is her new favorite thing, her owl playmat, being outside, the sound of running water, being naked, the carseat, her minnie mouse stuffed animal

Dislikes: disposable wipes, putting pajamas on, not much else...she's a happy baby!

Biggest changes: She smiles so much more now and we can tell it is actually for us and not gas. :) She likes to 'talk' more and responds to us with noises and coos, even a giggle sometimes. She is sitting up (supported) much better now and loves to sit in our lap or be held facing out. She has started exploring things around her more and more and is intrigued by almost everything!


Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween

Yesterday was Halloween and it was Emma's first holiday! We figured since she's not even two months yet, we'd stick with a basic Halloween outfit and go all out next year since she'll actually get to trick or treat then. Our next door neighbors organized a BBQ in the front yard for anyone on our street to come to. It was so fun to meet a few new neighbors and get to know those that live right near us a bit more. The dads took the kids trick or treating (Mike had to leave for work), so the moms sat together on one driveway, socialized and handed out candy. We have some really great neighbors!

Next year we are hoping Mike will be able to take the night off work so he can take Emma around trick or treating. I always wondered what I would do...leave a bowl out and hope kids don't take advantage or stay at home to hand out candy? I'm hoping this neighbor get together becomes an annual thing because it was so fun sitting outside with the other moms! We've already started brainstorming ideas for her costume next year. I can tell you that she will not be a princess...we only have so many years until she has an opinion, right? ;)